Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

Hope has had dubious distinction of landing in the top five B.C. communities with the highest rates per person of illicit drug deaths.

The B.C. Coroners Service released a report filled with data ranging back to 2009 this week (Dec. 5). One table lists the ‘Top 15 Illicit Drug Toxicity Death Rates from 2017-2019’. Hope is fifth, at 49.2 deaths per 100,000 people. The actual number is 12 deaths for that time frame.

The top city in the chart is Princeton, which also reported 12 such deaths, but at a rate of 81.3 per 100,000. Grand Forks, Keremeos, and Vancouver Aggregate make up the rest of the top five. Chilliwack, however, did not make the Top 15.

Hope does have the roughly per person rate as the Vancouver Aggregate, which with 980 actual deaths, sits at 49.2 per 100,000.

Hope’s rate of overdose related deaths is on a steady rise. From 2013-2015, it was just 4.1 per 100,000.

The 21-page report included a lot of other interesting data. Despite the common belief that people on the street are those dying from drug overdose, province-wide the majority of people die from overdose inside a home, at 57 per cent, while only 12 per cent die outdoors.

READ MORE: Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

While Hope’s rates are rising, the study shows that the number of opioid overdose deaths are falling provincewide. It also states there have been no deaths reported in supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

The report is based on deaths by “street drugs,” described as controlled and illegal drugs: heroin, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine, illicit fentanyl etc., as well as medications not prescribed to the decedent but obtained/purchased on the street, from unknown means or where origin of drug not known, and any combinations of the above with prescribed medications.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says while fatalities have decreased, the service knows from their health-care partners that the number of non-fatal overdoses remains high.

She says the decrease in overdose deaths is a promising trend, but the drug supply in the province remains unpredictable and the long-term impact of drug toxicity can be severe.

Illicit Drug 2 by Jess Peters on Scribd


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High winds Friday made perfect conditions for kite-surfers near the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Kite-surfers take flight near White Rock Pier

Aerial performance put on near iconic waterfront attraction

White Rock City Hall (Peace Arch News photo)
City of White Rock seeking input on draft financial plan

Plan includes tax rate increase of 4.28 per cent

B.C. researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring the bat population. (Cathy Koot photo)
Semiahmoo Peninsula residents asked to monitor bat activity

Researchers keeping eye on spread of white-nose syndrome

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The Alzheimer Society of BC is hosting a number of webinars next month to help people prepare for financial and healthcare needs. (Contributed photo)
Alzheimer Society invites White Rock residents to series of educational webinars

Planning Ahead: Do it Now! webinar to be held March 10

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Lorne Ginther

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read